Our undergraduate surgery program is designed to prepare our medical graduates with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in post-graduate training and clinical practice- no matter what area of medicine they will eventually practice in. From hands-on interactive clinical and surgical skills sessions to being part of the surgical team in clerkship, our program strives to be learner-centered, innovative, interesting, challenging and fun! Our program is structured around two principal parts of the undergraduate curriculum - the Clinical Skills Program and the Clinical Clerkship. Surgery's involvement in the integrated Clinical Skills Course takes place in terms II, III & IV.
Undergraduate Education Committee members:
Dr. T. Domes, Chair, Undergraduate Education Committee, Division of Urology
Dr. Alexandra Mortimer, Clerkship Co-director, Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Dr. Laura Sims, Clerkship Co-director, Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Dr. Anne Dzus, Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Dr. Jordan Buchko, Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Regina
Dr. Taylor Bereti, Division of General Surgery, Regina
Dr. Allison Hunter, Division of General Surgery, Prince Albert
- Clinical Skills II
- Otolaryngology Skills Day
- Vascular / Thoracic Skills Day
- General Surgery Acute Abdomen Session
- Suturing Skills
- Gowning & Gloving Skills
- Clinical Skills III
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Clinical Skills IV
- Plastic Surgery
The knowledge and skills obtained from the pre-clerkship program will prepare the learner for Clinical Clerkship.
The core surgery clerkship rotation, which occurs during year 3 of the undergraduate medicine program, includes four weeks of general surgery (or its related sub-disciplines) and two weeks of orthopedic surgery. Details regarding the rotation can be found in the Surgery Clerkship Manual. Additionally, students will have further exposure to another surgical discipline during their two week Surgery Selective. Surgical specialty options for selectives include: cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, thoracic surgery, urology and vascular surgery.
Core Surgery Clerkship Learning Objectives
By the end of the surgery rotation the clerk will:
1. Patient assessment and management
a. Perform an appropriate and focused history for patients with a core surgical presentation (see list 1) (Medical Expert, Communicator)
b. Perform an appropriate and focused physical examination for patients with a core surgical presentation (see list 1) (Medical Expert, Communicator)
c. Provide a diagnostic work-up for patients with a core surgical presentation (see list 1) (Medical Expert, Manager)
d. Interpret relevant diagnostic tests in the evaluation of patients with a core surgical presentation (see list 1) (Medical Expert)
e. Synthesize clinical and laboratory/diagnostic data to arrive at a differential diagnosis for all the core surgical presentation (see list 1) (Medical Expert)
f. Develop appropriate plans for the management of patients with the core surgical conditions (see list 2) (Medical Expert, Manager)
g. List the indications for referral for surgical conditions (see List 2) (Medical Expert)
h. Discuss the pathophysiology, epidemiology, natural history and prognosis of the core surgical conditions (see list 2) (Medical Expert)
i. Identify patients with life-threatening conditions (Medical Expert)
j. Manage the results of common pre-operative laboratory investigations prior to surgery (Medical Expert, Communicator)
k. Demonstrate knowledge of the significance and need for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis, antibiotic prophylaxis, fasting guidelines, and practically apply these during the rotation (Medical Expert)
l. Manage the fluid and electrolyte needs of surgical patients with the following conditions: dehydration, fluid overload, hyperkalemia, hypokalemia, hypercalcemia, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia (Medical Expert, Communicator)
m. Perform the diagnostic work-up for common post-operative conditions/complications, including: fever, wound infections/problems, delirium, shortness of breath, chest pain and venothromboembolism (Medical Expert, Manager)
n. Perform the initial management for common post-operative conditions/complications, including fever, wound infections/problems, delirium, shortness of breath, chest pain and venothromboembolism (Medical Expert, Communicator)
2. Peri-procedural and procedural skills
a. Perform proper scrubbing, gowning and gloving (Medical Expert)
b. Perform aseptic technique and maintains sterility during the performance or assistance of surgical procedures (Medical Expert)
c. Demonstrate a basic facility in the use of common surgical instruments (forceps, scissors, scalpel, retractor, needle driver, electrocautery) (Medical Expert)
d. Administer appropriate local anaesthetic for procedures (when appropriate) (Medical Expert, Communicator)
e. List the contraindications and toxicities of local anaesthetics (Medical Expert)
f. Perform (under supervision) the following procedures: (Medical Expert, Communicator)
i. Foley catheter insertion (male and female)
ii. Nasogastric tube insertion
iii. Suture a simple wound
iv. Removal of sutures or staples in skin
v. Safe application and removal of a splint or cast
3. Communication skills and clinical documentation
a. Succinctly present a patient case to other members of the health care team (Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator)
b. Conduct an interactive oral presentation to a small group on a surgical-related topic (Medical Expert, Communicator, Scholar)
c. Build a therapeutic relationship with patients and their families by establishing rapport, communicating clearly, and providing explanations, education and recommendations when required (under supervision) (Medical Expert, Communicator, Professional)
d. Observe the elements of informed consent for surgical procedures (Medical Expert, Communicator, Professional)
e. Write/dictate clear, accurate, timely and concise records of clinical encounters and procedures (Medical Expert, Communicator, Manager, Professional)
4. Health advocacy
a. Appreciate the impact that socioeconomic factors have on the management of surgical patients (Medical Expert, Health Advocate)
b. Identify strategies for primary and secondary prevention of surgically-oriented problems (Medical Expert, Communicator, Health Advocate)
5. Clinical inquiry
- Apply the principles of evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal to seek answers to questions that arise during the care of surgical patients (Medical Expert, Scholar)
a. Exhibit professional behaviours, including honesty, integrity, commitment to responsibilities, compassion, respect, altruism and caring for patients and members of the health care team (Professional)
b. Protect patient confidentiality, privacy and autonomy (Health Advocate, Professional)
c. Recognize personal limitations and seek assistance when feeling overwhelmed (Manager, Professional)
d. Work effectively with other members of the health care team (intra and inter-professional) to assess, plan, provide and integrate care for the surgical patient (Communicator, Collaborator, Manager, Health Advocate, Professional)
e. Appreciate the roles and expertise that members of the multidisciplinary health care team provide to surgical patients (Professional)
f. Project a professional image in dress, manner, speech and interpersonal relationships that is consistent with the expectations for a physician by the public. (Professional)
g. Recognize and be sensitive to self-limitations and biases and ensure that these do not intrude on patient care. (Manager, Professional)
Core Surgical Presentations (LIST 1):
MASS: Neck/thyroid mass, breast lump (including nipple discharge), abdominal mass (intra-abdominal and abdominal wall, including groin), scrotal mass, rectal/prostatic mass, lymphadenopathy
PAIN (acute and chronic): Abdominal pain and/or distension, scrotal pain, joint pain, upper and lower limb pain
BLOOD: Epistaxis, hemoptysis, upper and/or lower gastrointestinal bleed, hematuria
TRAUMA: Head, chest, abdominal, pelvic (including genitourinary), and limb injury, burns
OTHER: Dysphagia/odynophagia, jaundice, urinary obstruction, shock
Core Surgical Conditions (LIST 2):
ENT: Foreign body of nose or ear, tonsillitis, epistaxis, serous otitis, thyroid cancer/mass
BREAST: Benign masses (fibroadenoma, fibrocystic changes, abscess), malignant masses
RESPIRATORY: Solitary pulmonary nodule, pleural effusion (malignant and empyema), pneumothorax (spontaneous, traumatic, iatrogenic)
VASCULAR: Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm, varicose veins, occlusive peripheral vascular disease
GASTROINTESTINAL: Acute abdomen (including appendicitis/diverticulitis/GI tract perforation), bowel obstruction, esophageal obstruction, GERD/gastritis/peptic ulcer disease, duodenal ulcer, mesenteric ischemia, biliary colic/cholelithiasis/cholecystitis/cholangitis, liver masses (benign vs. malignant), pancreatitis, colorectal carcinoma, colitis (including toxic megacolon), inflammatory bowel disease, anorectal diseases (anal fissure, anorectal abscess/fistula, hemorrhoids), pilonidal disease, hernias (inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional)
SKIN/SOFT TISSUE: necrotizing soft tissue infections, skin cancer, benign skin lesions (nevus, verrucae, epidermal inclusion cysts, lipoma)
GENITOURINARY: Hematuria (benign and malignant causes), BPH, renal colic, prostate cancer, UTI, scrotal masses (hydrocele, spermatocele, varicocele), scrotal pain (torsion, epididymitis/orchitis)
MUSCULOSKELETAL: Fractures (open and closed), dislocations, subluxations, compartment syndrome, septic joint, osteoarthritis, sport-related injuries
NEUROLOGICAL: Cerebral neoplasms, CNS infections (meningitis and abscess), primary impact injury (concussion to profound coma), epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve injury/entrapment (carpal tunnel syndrome)
REQUIRED CLINICAL EXPERIENCES/SKILLS (6.2 Documentation):
- Observe the process of informed consent of a patient in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Participate in the evaluation of patients with non-infectious postoperative complications in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Participate in the management of patients with infectious postoperative complications in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Participate in the management of postoperative fluid and electrolyte needs of a patient in the inpatient setting.
- Participate in the management of postoperative pain of a patient in the inpatient setting.
- Demonstrate a focused history of a new patient with a surgically oriented problem in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Demonstrate an observed physical exam of a patient with a surgically oriented problem in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Demonstrate acceptable scrub, gown and glove technique for operations.
- Write an appropriate operative report in the health record.
- Assess and manage a patient's postoperative wound in the inpatient/outpatient setting.
- Give an oral presentation of a clinically oriented surgical research topic to attending faculty and other members of the patient care team.
- Write appropriate postoperative orders in the health record.
- Be a surgical assistant (1st or 2nd assist) to operating surgeons.
- Write daily progress notes in the health record documenting an inpatient's hospital course.
- Demonstrate foley catheter insertion on an inpatient/outpatient.
- Demonstrate nasogastric tube insertion on an inpatient/outpatient
- Demonstrate a simple wound closure in the inpatient/outpatient setting
- Perform removal of skin sutures or staples in the inpatient/outpatient setting
- Perform safe application and removal of a splint or cast in the inpatient/outpatient setting
The Department of Surgery of the University of Saskatchewan encourages and welcomes students from other Canadian universities to do their electives in Saskatoon. Elective students will find enthusiastic staff committed to teaching, a conducive atmosphere for learning and a launch-pad for your career aspirations in surgery.
Saskatoon is a fun, friendly city and is well connected to all major Canadian airports.
For all inquiries about electives at the University of Saskatchewan Department of Surgery, please contact:
Tel: 306- 966-4270
The University of Saskatchewan Student Surgical Society is a surgery-based interest group within the College of Medicine open to all students. The society seeks primarily to increase interest in all of the surgical specialties.Throughout the year the Society will host a variety of events and skills nights to provide networking opportunities for students, residents, and surgeons. We are continuously grateful for all the surgeons and residents from both Regina and Saskatoon who participate in our events. The Society makes a strong effort to host events and talks in both study sites, Regina and Saskatoon.
Yearly Events for the Students Surgical Society:
Fall – Meet & Greet
Surgeons of all specialties and medical students are invited to get together at the Faculty Club for a night of socializing, appetizers, and drinks
March – Surgical Skills Night
Surgical attendings and residents of varying specialties take time to teach medical students the basics of suturing with the use of the ever-classic pig feet!
The Student Surgical Society also hosts a “Women in Surgery” talk to give insight to female (and male) medical students about the challenges/triumphs of being a woman in surgery.
To find out more information about the Student Surgical Society, please email the SSS.
Surgery Gold Scalpel Award for Pre-clerkship Education
Awarded annually to the faculty member with the most significant contribution during the pre-clerkship phase of the MD program.
Surgery Gold Scalpel Award for Clerkship Education
Awarded annually to the faculty member with the most significant contribution during the surgical clerkship phase of the MD program.
Surgery Gold Scalpel Award for Residency Education
Awarded annually to the faculty member demonstrating the highest level of teaching excellence as acclaimed by the surgical residents.
Surgery Silver Shovel Award
Awarded annually to the faculty member with the most outstanding contribution to surgical education.
Surgery Bronze Shovel Award
Awarded annually to the resident with the most outstanding contribution to surgical education.
Dash & Reed Research Award
Terms of Reference:
- Award to be distributed through the Department of Surgery
- Research to be presented at the Department of Surgery Research Day
- Award to be given based on Research Day judges, Student Preceptor and representative of Dr. Dash and /or Dr. Reed
- Award of $2,000 annually to be presented at the banquet for Department of Surgery Research Day
- Award eligibility based on research that has been presented at a local, regional, national or international level and/or accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal
- Student recipient should be nominated by their preceptors based on the following criteria:
- demonstrates a recognition that clinical research requires personal sacrifice and time commitment
- ability to see a project through to completion
- demonstrate the learned basic fundamentals of clinical research including:
- writing a proposal
- structured literature review performed by student, not a librarian
- active participation seeing the proposal through the Research and Ethics Board process
- execution of the project in a timely fashion
- timely data analysis and manuscript/presentation preparation
- timely submission for publication and/or presentation
Thank you for your interest in signing up for undergraduate surgery teaching sessions.
Please click on the link below to be directed to the electronic sign up sheet. You do not need to register for an account in order to sign up - all you need to provide is your name and email address. You will receive an email notification when you initially sign up and a second email notification two days before the scheduled seminar as a reminder.
The undergraduate surgery office will also ensure that your administrative staff are made aware of your teaching session, as a reminder.
For more information, please contact the surgery office.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Postgraduate (Residency) training programs are offered in General Surgery, Neurosurgery, and Orthopedic Surgery.
Director of Education
Division of General Surgery
Division of Neurosurgery
Dr. Michael Kelly
Division of Orthopedic Surgery
Dr. Anthony King
|Ms. Kim Moss
Program Administrative Assistant
Tel: (306) 966-2637
Fax: (306) 966-8026
|Ms. Judy Classen
Program Administrative Assistant
Tel: (306) 844-1114
Fax: (306) 655-0638
Program Administrative Assistant
Surgical Foundations Program
Tel: (306) 844-1047
Fax: (306) 844-1522
Surgical Foundations Bootcamp
All Surgical and Obstetrics & Gynecology residents attend Surgical Foundations Boot Camp during July and August of their first year. This Boot Camp requires them to attend didactic and surgical skills sessions. During this time, the residents are put on their own home service rotations. Boot Camp concludes with an OSCE.
ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support)
Dr. Jeff Gaboury Hayes, Provincial Chairman
Frankie Affleck, Administrative Coordinator (saskatoonATLS@hughes.net)
Residents are registered for this mandatory course in their first year of training. This mandatory course is held during Boot Camp for all residents.
Critical Appraisal Course
Contact: Ms. Samantha Chymy, Postgraduate Medical Education Office
Goals of the course are:
- To understand the principles of evidence-based health care and the main controversies surrounding its application in practice.
- To develop skills in the critical appraisal of scientific literature in a manner that will influence your clinical practice.
- To provide an introduction to the factors which should be taken into account when planning and conducting a research study.
An Introductory Session for the Critical Appraisal Course is held during the Surgical Foundations seminar sessions that begin in the fall. This is attended by all R1 residents in Surgical Foundations. Once the Introductory Session is completed, the residents complete the remainder of they will carry this out.
Both of these books can be borrowed from the Health Science Library (on reserve) or can be purchased at the University Bookstore. Choose either:
- Guyatt G, Rennie D (eds), Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature: Essentials of Evidence-Based Clinical Practice
- Guyatt G, Rennie D (eds), Users’ Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice
Please contact your home program administrative assistant to learn more about how you will be evaluated.
Surgical Foundations Seminar: 18-24 Month Course
The Surgical Foundations Seminar series begins in the Fall and is held every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. The objective of this seminar is to acquire knowledge underlying the basic principles of surgery in general, and to prepare the resident to successfully pass the principles of surgery examination.
TIPS (Teaching Improvement Project System)
Coordinator: Sean Polreis (966-1311)
This course is offered during Surgical Foundations Boot Camp. This course is presented of two full days and once finished, the residents receive a Certificate of Completion.
- In order to prepare the resident for their teaching role, it is mandatory that all residents take the TIPS course. This must be taken within the first two years of their training program.
Kloppenburg Resident Research Award
The Kloppenburg Resident Research Award is an annual award to a Postgraduate Clinical Education Student (Resident) in the field of Neurosurgery and / or Orthopaedic Surgery. Award will be made to the Resident who is judged to have made the best research presentation at Resident’s Research Day. Selection of the award recipient will be made by the Visiting Professor with the Department Head and the Division Heads of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery who participate in the activities relating to Residents’ Research Day. The award was created in 1989 by donation from the law firm Kloppenburg & Kloppenburg to recognize medical-legal consultation the firm has received from our medical faculty.
No application required. Award to be given yearly based on reviews from judge panel on Research Day.
D.C. MacRae Scholarship
The D.C. MacRae Scholarship – Postgraduate was established in 1965 by donation from the Estate of Dr. D.C. MacRae of Carlyle Saskatchewan to provide scholarships for postgraduate study in Surgery to worthy graduates of its College of Medicine, the recipients to be chosen by the Department of Surgery Research Committee, and the selection to be made on the basis of merit, character and natural ability and not necessarily or primarily on academic standing. Faculty may in its discretion request repayment of all or part of the moneys advanced. Other donors are encouraged to contribute to this award.
No application required. Award to be given yearly based on reviews from judge panel on Research Day.
Samuel Claman Prize in Orthopedic Surgery
The Samuel Claman Prize in Orthopedic Surgery is awarded to a post-graduate student in Orthopaedic Surgery showing the most promise in Orthopaedics Surgery Research. The annual prize will be recommended by the Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and made at the conclusion of the academic year.
Continuing Medical Education
Surgical Skills Lab
Surgical skills instruction occurs throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate surgery curricula using wet labs, low fidelity models and high fidelity simulators. There is an emphasis on basic procedural skills (tissue handling, suturing, venipuncture and line insertion) for students and junior trainees, advancing to discipline specific procedures for surgical residents. This includes a surgical ‘boot camp’ for incoming surgical trainees, microvascular surgery and endoscopy/arthroscopy training. In addition, students from the Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry utilize the surgical skills lab, undergoing specialized instruction based on their learning objectives.
Construction is nearly complete on a modern 6500 sq ft combined anatomy and surgical skills lab which will offer additional capacity. The lab will be equipped with a full range of surgical instrumentation and state of the art equipment for minimally invasive procedures. This will facilitate realistic surgical simulation and procedural training as well as creating the environment for surgical innovation.
Dr. Gavin Beck
Director, Surgical Skills